Archive for July, 2009

Accessible Traveling

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

People with disabilities have for long faced special challenges when it comes to traveling around the world. Nowadays, however, there are numerous organizations that work towards helping mitigate these challenges. The term “accessible tourism” refers, according to Wikipedia, to “the ongoing endeavor to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age.” Currently, the United States and Europe have the majority of existing companies dedicated to accessible tourism, however due to the growing need many companies have emerged in other countries.

If traveling to Europe, here are some useful websites: 4
Visitors of this website will find advice on how to negotiate airports and flights, organizations that provide special insurance coverage for travelers with disabilities, information on special wheelchair battery options and tips on how to plan your trip in advance.
This UK charity organization provides information on hotels, flights, insurance, health needs and assistance in obtaining care overseas.
This is the website of the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). You will find several resources including access guides, articles and links regarding accessible tourism in Europe and worldwide.

If traveling to the United States, the following might be useful:

Disney World’s guidebook for guests with disabilities: Provides access information to mature and disabled travelers in the United States. Includes information on group tours, cruises, licensed travel companion and disability travel resources.

To find handicap accessible vacation rentals, log on to, type the name of your destination and on the Smart Search Special Features choose Handicap Accessibility.

Amsterdam: One of Europe’s Most Dynamic Places

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

4One of the most diverse and dynamic places in Europe, Amsterdam is the way to go if you want excitement. The capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam is home to impressive architecture, lovely canals and great shopping alternatives. Regardless if you want some culture or if you are thinking of serious partying, you will find something for every taste in this eclectic city. It is the biggest city and cultural centre of Netherlands although not the seat of government. Due to its tourist-friendly nature the city can be visited any time of the year, but during winter days are short and the weather may be too cold to walk around comfortably. The official language is Dutch, however you will not have a problem finding English-speaking people.

Getting Around in Amsterdam

Getting around in Amsterdam is very easy. The downtown area is not that big and you can get to most places by foot or bike. The bike culture in Amsterdam is highly developed and you will find separate bike-lanes on most major streets. Also, cyclists have the right of way and there are numerous maps for cycling which include routes, repairs, rentals and public transport. Be careful and get a good lock for your bike as Amsterdam is known to have the highest bicycle theft rates in the world. Also, if you consider buying a bike then beware of prices that seem to low as they might be from stolen bikes.

Things to do in Amsterdam

The range of things to do in Amsterdam is very varied and suits almost every taste in the planet. If traveling with a loved one a good 5option is to rent a boat in Amsterdam. You will be astonished by the beautiful architecture and charming canals. These cruises can be found for as low as twelve Euros per person. If you are a shopping addict, the main shopping streets in Amsterdam run in a line from near Central Station to the Leidseplein: Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, Heiligeweg, Leidestraat. These up market shopping streets put an emphasis is on clothes although there are other shops as well. If you are looking for more boutique type of shopping then head to the side streets of the main canals; you will find interesting souvenirs in these little shops.

Also famous in Amsterdam are its street markets. Although originally they only sold food, nowadays these markets also sell clothes, households, flowers and many other items. Some of the most popular street markets in Amsterdam include the “Albert Cuyp”, the largest in Amsterdam and also the best known in Netherlands, the “Ten Cate Market,” the 3rd largest of the city and the Waterlooplein.

Visit for Amsterdam Vacation Rentals.

The Small Town Way of Traveling

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Yes, traveling to big cities and getting to know the most famous attractions is always fun, but sometimes we are looking for another 5kind of vacation. That vacation in which we can smell the odor of flowers, walk around and see nice people in a calm atmosphere, hear the sound of birds first thing in the morning and simply rest and forget that there is a real world out there full of busy streets, traffic and stressed people walking all over. This kind of vacation can be achieved when visiting small towns. And although many of us may think that this means a boring vacation, America offers numerous towns that although small, have a great variety of entertainment alternatives.

One great example of such towns is Manitou Springs in Colorado. This charming town is perfect to forget about everything. Its residents come from all type of backgrounds from scientists and businesspeople to new-age hippies; making it an interesting place to meet people. If you love art you can visit the WeUsOur Artists Market which has unusual art on display and if you are feeling like enjoying a great coffee then the Mate Factor Café might be a great option. If you want some African, Caribbean or Southeast Asian food, head to the famous Adam’s Mountain Café.

Yellow Springs, Ohio is other of my favorite options. A beacon for artists and creative thinkers, this town is full of ch4arming cafes, shops, and art galleries. Head to Xenia Avenue and you will find La Llama Place, a store stocked with crafts from South America and Common Scents store which sells more than 250 varieties of herbs and spices from across the world. If you are looking for a place to eat fresh food your best bet is to head to The Winds Café and Bakery, which serves dishes using ingredients mostly from local farms and if you are curious about Buddhism, the Yellow Springs Dharma Center might be an interesting place to visit.

Livingston, Montana is where a lot of young people come to live the “good life.” Low rents are and the access to incredible nature are both an attractive for those who decide to visit or reside in the town. Numerous artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers call this place home. If visiting with friends you can spend a great night at The Owl Lounge with life music while if feeling like having an incredible dinner then the 2nd Street Bistro offers French dishes using Montana ingredients.